Trying to solve for the problem of education in 2015 — by Dave Cormier; with thanks to Maree Conway for her posting this on her University Futures Update


The story of the rhizome
The rhizome has been the story i have used, frankly without thinking about it, to address this issue. There are lots of other ways to talk about it – a complex problem does not get solved by one solution. In a rhizomatic approach (super short version) each participant is responsible for creating their own map within a particular learning context. The journey never ‘starts’ and hopefully never ends. There is no beginning, no first step. Who you are will prescribe where you start and then you grow and reach out given your needs, happenstance, and the people in your context. That context, in my view, is a collection of people. Those people may be paying participants in a course, they may be people who wrote things, it could be people known to the facilitator. The curriculum of the course is the community of people pulled together by the facilitator and all those others that join, are contacted or interacted with. The interwebs… you know.

The point here is that i attempt to replace the ‘certainty of the prepared classroom’ with the ‘uncertainty of knowing’. In doing so I’m hoping to encourage students to engage in the learning process in their own right. I want them to make connections that make sense to them, so that when the course is over, they will simply keep making connections with the communities of knowing they have met during the class. The community is both the place where they learn from other people, but, more importantly, learning how to be in the community is a big part of the curriculum. Customs, mores, common perspectives, taboos… that sort of thing.